Mechanical Engineering

Chairperson: Dr. Massimo "Max" Capobianchi
Professors: K. Ansari, M. Capobianchi, P. Ferro
Associate Professors: T. Chen, J. Marciniak
Assistant Professors: M. Baumgardner, T. Fitzgerald
Lecturer: D. Offill, J. Weston
Lab Manager: A. Delane

Mechanical Engineering is that branch of engineering that encompasses the study of forces, motion, energy, materials, manufacturing, and design in order to apply them to the creation of mechanical devices and systems that serve society (e.g., engines, refrigerators, machines, tools, etc). This is accomplished through a process of problem description, creative idea generation, design, analysis, judgment, planning, and production that typically involves a host of professionals who may all have been educated as mechanical engineers. For example, mechanical engineers may be involved in product design, analysis, and testing, in developing manufacturing processes, in defining product requirements and trouble-shooting customer problems, in project management, and in research and education.

The profession serves many diverse fields and industries such as the aerospace, pharmaceutical, automotive, and power generation industries, to name just a few. In fact, any device or system that involves energy or movement probably involved one or more mechanical engineers in its creation. Some exciting, rapidly developing fields and emerging technologies of interest to mechanical engineers include fuel cells (the use of chemical fuel and an oxidant to directly produce electricity), rapid prototyping (the use of computer-controlled machines to fabricate complete objects in one step directly from computer models), mechatronics (the integration of mechanical systems and electronic sensing and control), biomedical engineering (the application of engineering to problems in medicine and biology), nanoengineering (the creation of materials and devices at the nanometer level, i.e., at the atomic, molecular, or supramolecular levels), and MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems-the integration of mechanical, chemical, and/or electronic systems at the chip level).

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Gonzaga University develops men and women who are both competent engineers and educated, responsible human beings. The development of these two characteristics in students is affected by course work from both the liberal arts and the profession. Thus, these two aspects are interwoven, being a single, integrated fabric having many threads contributed by many curricula. This synthesis is expressed by the engineering program educational objectives that are listed in the School of Engineering and Applied Science section of this catalogue, and by the Gonzaga University Mission Statement that may be found at the beginning of the catalogue.

Diversity of opportunity and professional breadth are hallmarks of the mechanical engineering profession. This translates into a need for a thorough grounding in a variety of mathematical, scientific, and engineering fundamentals. Thus, the Mechanical Engineering Program at Gonzaga University prepares the student in the areas of mathematics, chemistry, physics, mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, materials, manufacturing, design, control theory, experimentation, and economics. These fundamentals are enhanced with exposure to important engineering tools such as: mathematical techniques; computer programming; computer applications tools including computer aided design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), finite element analysis (FEA), and computational fluid dynamics (CFD); and the use of equipment, instruments, and software typically found in manufacturing and laboratory situations. Since teamwork is an essential aspect of the modern practice of mechanical engineering, the Mechanical Engineering Program gives considerable attention to building personal communication skills through team design projects, reports, and presentations. Furthermore, as a critical component of the program, all students engage in design courses beginning in their Sophomore year and continuing throughout the curriculum, culminating in a two-semester capstone design experience in the Senior year. That experience entails requiring student design teams, led jointly by faculty and practicing engineers, to solve real industrial design problems. Finally, the degree requirements also include the opportunity for breadth as well as concentration in particular engineering applications through a group of technical electives taken in the senior year (the list of allowed technical electives is given below). The department also has a five-year plan available for students wishing to proceed at a slower pace or for those planning to add a minor in business or in a liberal arts subject such as physics, music, or art. Information and suggested course packages are also available for students planning to work in the closely allied but more specialized fields of aerospace or biomedical engineering, and for those planning to enroll in the Gonzaga-in- Florence Engineering Semester program.

The following curriculum details the course requirements for each semester. In addition to these courses, all students must take the Washington State Fundamentals of Engineering Examination prior to graduation (see ENSC 400, “Fundamentals of Engineering Exam” course in the Spring semester of the Senior year). Finally, students who follow a curriculum sequence other than that listed below should meet with their Academic Advisors at their first opportunity in order to resolve any scheduling conflicts that may arise due to off-schedule course availability and/or course pre- and co-requisite structure. In all cases, students must comply with the pre- and co-requisite requirements in order to be granted admission into courses.

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering: 138 credits
First Year
CHEM 101 General Chemistry I
3 credits
CHEM 101L General Chemistry I Lab
1 credit
ENSC 191 Engineering First Year Seminar 3 credits
MATH 157 Calculus and Analytical Geometry I 4 credits
PHIL 101 Reasoning 3 credits
Core Broadening Requirement: (History, Literature, Social and Behavioral Science) 3 credits
ENSC 205 Statics 3 credits
ENSC 192 Engineering First Year Seminar 3 credits
MATH 258 Calculus. and Analytical Geometry II 4 credits
PHYS 103 Scientific Physics I 4 credits
PHYS 103L Scientific Physics I Lab 1 credit
PHIL 201 Human Nature 3 credits
Second Year
MENG 221 Materials Engineering 3 credits
MENG 291 Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design 2 credits
MENG 291L Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design Lab 1 credit
MATH 259 Calculus and Analytical Geometry III 4 credits
PHYS 204 Scientific Physics II 4 credits
PHYS 204L/PHYS 204R Scientific Physics II Lab and Recitation 1 credit
RELI XXX Christianity and Catholic Traditions 3 credits
ENSC 244 Computer Methods for Engineering 3 credits
ENSC 306 Dynamics 3 credits
MATH 260 Ordinary Differential Equations 3 credits
MATH 321 Statistics for Experiment 3 credits
Ethics core requirement 3 credits
RELI XXX World or Comparative Religion 3 credits
Third Year
MENG 321 Thermodynamics I 3 credits
ENSC 300 (2) Engineering Economics 2 credits
ENSC 301 Mechanics of Materials I 3 credits
EENG 201 Circuit Analysis I 3 credits
EENG 201L Circuit Analysis I Lab 1 credit
ENSC 371 Advanced Engineering Math 3 credits
ENSC 352 Fluid Mechanics 3 credits
MENG 301 Manufacturing Processes 2 credits
MENG 301L Manufacturing Processes Lab 1 credit
MENG 322 Thermodynamics II 3 credits
MENG 330 Machine Design 3 credits
MENG 341 Heat Transfer 3 credits
MENG 391 Mechanical Engineering Design Fundamentals 1 credit
MENG 391L Mechanical Engineering Design Fundamentals Lab 1 credit
Core Integration Seminar (432) 3 credits
Fourth Year (3)
ENSC 491 (4) Senior Design Project I 2 credits
MENG 411 Measurements and Instrumentation I 3 credits
MENG 411L Measurements and Instrumentation I Lab 1 credit
MENG 434 Vibration Engineering 3 credits
MENG 461 System Dynamics and Control 3 credits
- - - - - Technical Elective 3 credits
Core Broadening Requirement: (History, Literature, Social and Behavioral Science) 3 credits
ENSC 400 Fundamentals of Engineering Examination 0 credits
ENSC 492 Senior Design Project II 3 credits
MENG 412 Measurements and Instrumentation II 3 credits
MENG 412L Measurements and Instrumentation II Lab 1 credit
- - - - - Technical Elective 3 credits
- - - - - Technical Elective 3 credits
Core Broadening Requirement: (History, Literature, Social and Behavioral Science) 3 credit

(2)ENSC 300 is waived under the following circumstances:
  • Students pursuing the General Business Minor: ENSC 300 is waived after completing both (ECON 200 or (ECON 201 and ECON 202)) and BFIN 320
  • Students Pursuing the B.S. in Engineering and M.B.A. program: ENSC 300 is waived after completing both (ECON 200 or (ECON 201 and Econ 202)) and BFIN 320.

The above courses are not intended to be options for the ENSC 300 course. Hence, students who are not in one of the above programs are required to take ENSC 300. Also, students who comply with one of the above criteria must complete all of the courses required to waive ENSC 300 prior to enrolling in any course for which ENSC 300 is a pre-requisite.

(3)Students must take the Washington State Fundamentals of Engineering examination before they graduate.

(4)Students must show proof of having registered for the Fundamentals of Engineering examination in Washington State as part of the requirements of this course.

(5)Students must show proof of final registration with the State of Washington for the Fundamentals of Engineering examination, or proof of having taken the examination in the State of Washington, as part of the requirements of this course.

Technical Electives

The courses used to satisfy the technical elective requirements must normally be selected from the following list. However, students may take other courses for technical elective credits but only with the prior approval of both the student’s academic advisor and the chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The actual technical elective courses offered from the list below varies from year to year and the department may on occasion offer one or more pre-approved technical elective courses that are not listed below. Courses other than MENG courses may have pre and/or co- requisites that are outside of the normal mechanical engineering curriculum. Students wishing to take these courses should plan well in advance in order to comply with all admission requirements prior to enrolling in the course.

  • MENG 435 Applications in Vibrations
  • MENG 442 Advanced Heat Transfer
  • MENG 445 Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning
  • MENG 446 Mechanical Design and Cooling of Electronic Systems
  • MENG 450 Topics in Machine Design
  • MENG 456 Design for Manufacturability
  • MENG 462 Gas Dynamics
  • MENG 463 Simulation and Optimization
  • MENG 465 Introduction to Finite Elements
  • MENG 467 Designing with Polymers and Composites
  • MENG 477 Material Selection for Design
  • MENG 480 Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • MENG 484 Manufacturing Systems
  • CENG 301 Structural Analysis I
  • CENG 390 Structural Analysis II
  • ENSC 405  Engineering Project Management
  • EENG 412 Digital Control Systems
  • ENSC 413 Automation

In addition to their major and minor areas of study, all undergraduate students follow a common program designed to complete their education in those areas that the University considers essential for a Catholic, Jesuit, liberal, and humanistic education. The University Core Curriculum consists of forty-five credits of course work, with additional designation requirements that can be met through core, major, or elective courses.

The University Core Curriculum is a four-year program, organized around one overarching question, which is progressively addressed through yearly themes and questions. Hence, core courses are best taken within the year for which they are designated. First year core courses encourage intellectual engagement and provide a broad foundation of fundamental skills. Second and third year courses examine central issues and questions in philosophy and religious studies. The fourth year course, the Core Integration Seminar, offers a culminating core experience. Taken at any time throughout the four years, broadening courses intersect with the core themes and extend students’ appreciation for the humanities, arts, and social and behavioral sciences. Finally, the designation requirements (writing enriched, global studies, and social justice) reflect important values and reinforce students’ knowledge and competencies.

Overarching Core Question: As students of a Catholic, Jesuit, and Humanistic University, how do we educate ourselves to become women and men for a more just and humane global community?
Year 1 Theme and Question: Understanding and Creating: How do we pursue knowledge and cultivate understanding?

  • The First-Year Seminar (ENSC 191 and ENSC 192, 6 credits): The First-Year Seminar (FYS), taken in the fall or spring of the first year, is designed to promote an intellectual shift in students as they transition to college academic life. Each small seminar is organized around an engaging topic, which students explore from multiple perspectives. The FYS is offered by many departments across the University (click here for list of FYS courses).  
  • Writing (ENSC 191 and ENSC 192, 6 credits) and Reasoning (PHIL 101, 3 credits): The Writing and Reasoning courses are designed to help students develop the foundational skills of critical reading, thinking, analysis, and writing. They may be taken as linked sections. Writing (ENGL 101) carries one of the three required writing-enriched designations (see below).
  • Communication & Speech (ENSC 191 and ENSC 192, 6 credits): These courses introduces students to interpersonal and small group communication and requires the application of critical thinking, reasoning, and research skills necessary to organize, write, and present several speeches.(ENSC 491 and ENSC 492, 6 credits) will provide the culminating experience in communication.
  • Scientific Inquiry (PHYS 103/103L, 5 credits): This course explores the scientific process in the natural world through evidence-based logic and includes significant laboratory experience. Students pursuing majors that require science courses will satisfy this requirement through their major.
  • Mathematics (above Math 100, 3 credits): Mathematics courses promote thinking according to the modes of the discipline—abstractly, symbolically, logically, and computationally. One course in mathematics, above Math 100, including any math course required for a major or minor, will fulfill this requirement. MATH 100 (College Algebra) and courses without the MATH prefix do not fulfill this requirement.

Year 2 Theme and Question: Being and Becoming: Who are we and what does it mean to be human?

  • Philosophy of Human Nature (PHIL 201, 3 credits): This course provides students with a philosophical study of key figures, theories, and intellectual traditions that contribute to understanding the human condition; the meaning and dignity of human life; and the human relationship to ultimate reality.
  • Christianity and Catholic Traditions (RELI, 3 credits). Religious Studies core courses approved for this requirement explore diverse topics including Christian scriptures, history, theology, and practices as well as major contributions from the Catholic intellectual and theological traditions (click here for a list of approved courses) .

Year 3 Theme and Question: Caring and Doing: What principles characterize a well lived life?

  • Ethics (PHIL 301 or RELI, 3 credits): The Ethics courses are designed to help students develop their moral imagination by exploring and explaining the reasons humans should care about the needs and interests of others. This requirement is satisfied by an approved ethics course in either Philosophy (PHIL 301) or Religious Studies (click here for a list of approved courses).
  • World/Comparative Religion (RELI, 3 credits): Religious Studies courses approved for this core requirement draw attention to the diversity that exists within and among traditions and encourage students to bring critical, analytical thinking to bear on the traditions and questions considered. These courses carries one of the required two global-studies designations (see below) (click here for a list of approved courses).

Year 4 Theme and Question: Imagining the Possible: What is our role in the world?” 

  • Core Integration Seminar (DEPT 432, 3 credits). The Core Integration Seminar (CIS) offers students a culminating core experience in which they integrate the principles of Jesuit education, prior components of the core, and their disciplinary expertise. Some CIS courses may also count toward a student’s major or minor. The CIS is offered by several departments across the University (click here for list of CIS courses).

The Broadening Courses

  • Fine Arts & Design (ENSC 491 and ENSC 492, 6 credits): Arts courses explore multiple ways the human experience can be expressed through creativity, including across different cultures and societies. One approved course in fine arts, music, theatre, or dance will fulfill this requirement (click here for a list of approved courses).
  • History (HIST, 3 credits): History courses are intended to develop students’ awareness of the historical context of both the individual and the collective human experience. One course in History (HIST 101, HIST 102, HIST 112, HIST 201, HIST 202) will fulfill this requirement.
  • Literature (3 credits): Literature courses foster reflection on how literature engages with a range of human experience. One approved course in Literature (offered by English, Classics, or Modern Languages) will fulfill this requirement (click here for a list of approved courses).
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences (3 credits): Courses in the social and behavioral sciences engage students in studying human behavior, social systems, and social issues. One approved course offered by Criminal Justice, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Women and Gender Studies will fulfill this requirement (click here for a list of approved courses).

The Designations
Designations are embedded within already existing core, major, minor, and elective courses. Students are encouraged to meet designation requirements within elective courses as their schedule allows; however, with careful planning students should be able to complete most of the designation requirements within other core, major, or minor courses.

  • Writing Enriched (WE; 3 courses meeting this designation): Courses carrying the WE designation are designed to promote the humanistic and Jesuit pedagogical ideal of clear, effective communication. In addition to the required core course, Engineering First Year Seminar (ENSC 191 and ENSC 192, 6 credits, which carries two of the WE designations, students must take one other WE-designated courses (click here for a list of approved courses).
  • Global-Studies (GS; 2 courses meeting this designation): Courses carrying the GS designation are designed to challenge students to perceive and understand human diversity by exploring diversity within a context of constantly changing global systems. In addition to the required core course, World/Comparative Religion (RELI 300-level), which carries one of the GS designations, students must take one other GS-designated course (click here for a list of approved courses).
  • Social-Justice (SJ; 1 course meeting this designation): Courses carrying the SJ designation are designed to introduce students to one or more social justice concerns. Students must take one course that meets the SJ designation (click here for a list of approved courses).